Islamabad: Pakistan could not be distracted from pursuit of peace in Afghanistan by “ongoing malicious campaign against Islamabad, which was, inter alia, aimed at creating chasms between people of both countries,” said Foreign Minister Ms Hina Rabbani Khar.
She was talking to visiting Germany’s Special Representative for Afghanistan & Pakistan Ambassador Michael Steiner on Thursday. Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, German Ambassador Dr. Michael Koch & Pakistan’s Ambassador- designate to Germany Abdul Basit also attended meeting, Foreign Office statement said.
Ms Hina Khar briefed about her one-day official visit Wednesday to Afghanistan, reiterating Pakistan’s full commitment to Afghan-led & Afghan-owned reconciliation process. She underlined that there was enormous repository of goodwill for Pakistan in Afghanistan and both countries should work together to attain peace and stability. Pakistan had no hidden agenda in Afghanistan, she said.
Expressing complete satisfaction over bilateral relations between Pakistan & Germany, she appreciated German humanitarian and development assistance to Pakistan. As Pakistan’s largest trading partner in Europe, she thanked Bonn for its active role in pursing Pakistan-specific EU trade package, approved by WTO Council for Trade in Goods in Geneva on Wednesday. She hoped bilateral relations will continue to deepen in all areas to their mutual benefit and in interest of promoting peace, prosperity in the region.
Salman Bashir said Pakistan fully understood its responsibilities for promoting peace, stability in the region. Pakistan had long been insisting that dialogue is key to achieve national reconciliation in Afghanistan. He appreciated German role in this regard. He hoped these efforts would lead to positive results, enabling Afghan people to live in peace, harmony without fearing another descent into violence and chaos.
Steiner reaffirmed Germany’s policy to further strengthen its ties with Pakistan, with special focus on bilateral trade and investment. He spoke of German efforts to promote reconciliation in Afghanistan, underscoring that patience and perseverance were required to achieve concrete results.